Tuesday, June 9

More Opinions Please

This post is not related to the previous one. I think I will start a prayer chain blog, and if you'd like to be involved in posting things, just email me or comment and I'll add you as an administrator. However, I'm not sure when I'll get it started...

What I would like some opinions on is actually a Bible passage. I've read it before, and not thought much about it, but this past year, one of the local Adventist church members in Bere brought it up in Sabbath school. Once again, I had pushed it aside, but when I came across it again today, I thought that perhaps it would be nice to see what other people think and to do some studying on it myself. I'm wondering particularly about verses 11-15, but I thought I'd include the whole chapter for a little context.

Some of my questions I'd like to hear your opinions on are: Should women lead out in Sabbath school or church services? What should be the extent of women's involvement in church? Should women be allowed a voice in Sabbath school discussions and Bible studies? What is a woman's role in the church community? And what does Paul mean when he says that 'women will be saved through childbearing'?

I'm also happy to receive any other comments related to anything in the following passage.

1 Timothy 2
Instructions on Worship
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

5 comments:

Joel said...

I have some comments marinating, but they're not quite ready yet. Don't mistake delay for lack of interest :)

Jackie said...

Me too...I'm developing my thoughts and doing some research :)

Christy Joy said...

lol, me three :) I already have quite the comment outlined out. And joel and I had a thorough discussion of the topic this morning as well :)

Little Christen said...

Well, I did some research, though I'm not thoroughly satisfied with it yet as a complete answer, but I will list some sites here for you to look at if you wish, though I'm not sure how helpful you will find them.

Go to google books and type in: "Women, ministry and the gospel: exploring new paradigms." Another google book to explore is "Women's Ministry in the Local Church. By J. Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt." I found these when I did a search in Southern's library religion ATLA database, which I recommend as well.

One source I skimmed which isn't listed here said that Paul's statement here is likely a cultural matter and also a situational matter because of certain women causing problems in the church.

Anyway, I'll try and research some more elsewhere. Good question. I've passed over that in the past as well.

Jonas said...

I don't think Paul was thinking about cultural context when he wrote this passage. Adam & Eve were further removed from Paul's society than we are.

If we take this text in seclusion, then Paul becomes a misogynist. Elsewhere, Paul talks about men adopting the servitude of Christ; was he also culpable of misandry? If both of the above are true, then Paul was actually a misanthrope. This statement contradicts everything else we know about Paul.

In order to make a coherent picture of Paul's intentions here, we have to assume that he actually loved both men and women. Parents who love their children are sometimes required to give them a spanking, the severity dependent upon the naughtiness coefficient.

Hence, I see Paul's letter on two levels.
1. An expression of the general principle that women should not exercise spiritual dominance over men.
2. A recommendation to Timothy that he take definite steps to stem the strident violation of the above principle.

Application of #2 should vary with violation of #1.